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Review Of Sideshow Boba Fett Mythos Statue, Plus Johnston And Bulloch Interviews

Posted by Eric on November 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM CST

In this hybrid post, TFN guest contributor Russ Sheath presents a review of Sideshow Collectibles Boba Fett Mythos polystone statue and interviews two Fett experts: director and former ILM employee Joe Johnston and actor Jeremy Bulloch.

Never happy to just sit by and offer you good folk a straightforward review, I thought I'd go all out to bring TFN readers something special and deserving of one of my favorite characters from cinema: the iconic, menacing bounty hunter Boba Fett from the Star Wars saga.

Boba Fett joins Obi Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul in a line of statues from Sideshow Collectibles entitled "Mythos."

One of the key aspects that makes Star Wars so enduring is the expansive universe that leaves viewers and audiences to imagine the adventures that took place before and after the saga we see on the screen. The "expanded universe" of comics and novels goes some way to offer fans an insight into those off screen adventures and the "Mythos" range of statues goes even further into those untold adventures in a galaxy far, far, away.

From Obi Wan's exploits in the desert wastes of Tatooine, keeping a watchful eye over young Luke Skywalker, to the fateful tale of a Bounty Hunter's prey in "Bounty 239" as depicted in the new Boba Fett statue. Sideshow describe the mythos statues as "interpretive representations" and no character has been so open to interpretation or speculation as Boba Fett.

Before I get into the review of the statue, I wanted to bring you an insight into the character from one of the men who knows Boba Fett the best.

Interview: Joe Johnston, concept artist for the original Star Wars trilogy

Joe Johnston is an accomplished film maker with directorial credits including Captain America: The First Avenger, The Rocketeer, and Jurassic Park 3 to his name. Before grasping the director's bullhorn however, Johnston first found acclaim as an Academy Award winning concept designer and effects technician behind some of cinemas most iconic moments, including the original Star Wars trilogy and Raiders of The Lost Ark, to name just two.

When Joe Johnston joined the fledgling ILM he was responsible for, together with legendary concept designer Ralph McQuarrie, the visual development of some of the iconic vehicles and characters that inhabit the Star Wars universe.

As he prepares to launch his own website "Joe Johnston's Sketchbook" I spoke with Joe about what it took to create one of Star Wars most iconic characters.

Russ Sheath (RS): Joe, can you tell theforce.net readers a little about the evolution of Boba Fett and George Lucas's input into the development of the character.

Joe Johnston (JJ): This is my memory of the evolution of the character, although It may differ from the official history of Boba Fett, or from other participants" memories. George's input into the character was basically that he's a loner, a bounty hunter, sort of a soldier of fortune and that he built his battered, second-hand suit out of scavenged parts. We used the "essence" of Clint Eastwood's character from the spaghetti westerns as an inspiration that manifested itself in the poncho that covers part of Boba Fett but that was dropped because of the difficulty it caused in production. The poncho got hung up on all of Boba Fett's gear.

RS: How did you begin to create the iconic suit?

JJ: I took the vacuum-formed and fiberglass components of the prototype Boba Fett suit and painted them in the empty warehouse that would become ILM north, a.k.a. The Kerner Company. I used Floquil Railroad Colors, an airbrush, and silver aerosol as a base so that I could hold color off of areas that were meant to be chipped and damaged, letting the "bare metal" (silver paint) show through.

George told me I could make him "colorful" if I wanted to, which I thought was a great idea, because it would make Boba Fett unique in the existing Star Wars universe where most of the characters are dressed in more drab browns and greys.

The last thing to go on the suit was the "Venom Vine" logo on the right of the chest plate. I wanted something less cliché than a crest or badge. It's meaningless in a way, but everyone seems to have a sense of what it could mean. It felt right without having to explain what it meant.

RS: What is it, you think, that makes Boba Fett so popular with fans of the mythos?

JJ: I can only offer my theories on this, but I think it's because he's a mystery. We don't know who or what he is. I was even a little disappointed that we saw his father's face, and his face as a child. I'd rather not know who the person is under the armor. If we don't know who he is he can be anyone or anything. I have to say that I'm happily surprised at how popular Boba Fett has become, for whatever reasons. I have my theory that I've just stated, but I would love to hear what some of the fans have to say about it.

Interview: Jeremy Bulloch, Original Trilogy actor who played Boba Fett

If there is a man to elaborate on the mythos of the galaxy's deadliest bounty hunter its actor Jeremy Bulloch. Bulloch portrayed Boba Fett in both The Empire Strikes Back and its sequel Return of The Jedi and at the time, had little expectation that the character would have a screen presence that far outweighed his actual screen time. Spending his time between his London home and traveling the globe meeting fans and attending conventions, Jeremy Bulloch took time out to talk about his role as a science fiction icon.

Russ Sheath (RS): Jeremy, thank you for talking to me today, so let's talk Boba Fett. What was key to your portrayal and characterization of Boba Fett when you first put on that mask, all those years ago?

Jeremy Bulloch (JB): I always say that the character is like Clint Eastwood. He's just standing there in the shadows and he's taking forever to decide whether he is going to shoot a person or not. But, he's got them, they are finished and it's all over, whether they know it or not.

Russ Sheath (RS): What do you think it is about that character archetype, the mystery man, that makes them, or Boba Fett in particular, appealing?

JB: I think that number one, it's the costume! I remember putting it on for the first time and thinking, "God, this is incredible, what an amazing looking thing!" The costume actually fit like a glove and I remember just standing there in the dressing room, before going onto set and leaning while holding the gun in a certain way. Gradually you start to experiment and then achieve a few things and then the character all comes together. it's not all me....well, it's a little bit me otherwise I wouldn't be an actor....but it just looked so cool, he's just an awesome character. You know, he's still the smallest role I've ever played, but look what happened.

RS: How did the role come about for you?

JB: I was doing a play in Leatherhead when they started filming the Empire Strikes Back and I was really enjoying myself because it was a two and a half hour play and I never stopped speaking. My half-brother, who was an associate producer on the Star Wars films, didn't believe in nepotism so I was very lucky when he told me to get onto my agent as there might be a couple of days work for me in what he described as a "walk on" part. I contacted my agent and a few days passed but I didn't hear anything so my half-brother said that I should just go up to the studio and meet everyone, which I did. I went up and started chatting to everyone and they bought the costume out, I tried it on and it fitted like a glove, I always say to people in interviews that it was just meant to be. It was originally just a couple of days that became four and then five weeks and then I ended up being asked back to do Return of The Jedi, it's quite amazing what happened.

RS: When you first put the costume on, was there a lot of direction from Irvin Kershner or background given to you about the character?

There wasn't any! There really wasn't much to do and I could do everything that was asked of me. The thing that was most important to me was that I could get me back to the theater for my performance, on time. Like a young kid with a toy gun, occasionally you start to play the part properly. I remember being in Jabba's palace I would just start to turn my head or move forward. I don't know if anyone actually saw it or noticed it. Although it was a tiny part I had such fun, and to get calls now, to go to places like South America is amazing. I've been very lucky to be able to go off and do an event somewhere. It was the most uncomfortable costume you could possibly wear and oh god it was hot, but I wasn't going to say anything, I just had to stand there looking murderous.

RS: Were you thinking of Clint Eastwood as "the man with no name" from the Leone spaghetti westerns, when you were playing the character?

JB: Funnily enough my first thought was of Clint Eastwood because he had the same style of cape draped over his shoulder. The costume says it all, I did as much as I could to enhance that, but the costume IS the character.

RS: There was so much written about the character in the expanded universe of novels and comics, before we got to the "official" back story in "Attack of The Clones". Did you have a back story for Boba Fett in your mind and what his origins might be?

JB: You do think "I wonder what happens now?" We'd got to the point where Boba Fett fell into the Sarlacc Pitt and he was gone, but George Lucas did say that he does get out of the Sarlacc Pit and he survives. Then they added the family, with the dad, Jango Fett and Boba as a young boy. My full belief is that, while he's part of a family and it's great that he has a dad, I still believed that you should never see his face and he should be a complete mystery. You should be sitting in the cinema thinking he's going to take his helmet off - but he never does. I see Daniel Logan at events and we have a laugh, but in my mind, you should never see his face, and I tell Daniel this. There's a lot they could do, but the storyline of Boba Fett is that he's a clone.

RS: I was reading the making of The Empire Strikes Back where the book discusses a possible deleted scene of Boba Fett fighting IG-88?

I head something about that and there are lots of little stories. They used to say that IG88 was the most dangerous bounty hunter and then Dengar was the second most dangerous, but you can read into that what you want.

RS: How do you feel about an impending Episode VII?

JB: JJ Abrams is a terrific director and I think what he did with Star Trek was excellent. People ask me if I'm going to be in the new movie and I'd love to be, but no one has asked me. At the moment I'm just really looking forward to it. I've even had people asking me if I can get them in the new film to which I've replied "well, can you get ME in the new film".

RS: People will assume that you have a hotline to George Lucas.

JB: Yes. Exactly. We are going to start hearing rumors soon and of course they are going to be wrong.

RS: What's coming up for you, are you still pursuing acting?

JB: I'm doing a voice in a cartoon called "Max's Adventures" where I'm playing an owl, that will be towards the end of the year and then I'm doing a pilot for a sci-fi project. At least twice a week I get invited somewhere in the world to do a convention, and subject to work it's very exciting to go to these places. There's plenty going on, it's all to do with sci-fi.

RS: Your autobiography is also available online at your website, can you tell us a little about that?

JB: it's called Flying Solo, which obviously means two things. Of course it means that I've got Han Solo in carbonite and I'm literally "flying Solo" but it also refers to the last words of my drama teacher, who came to me on my last day at drama school and she said, "Well Jeremy, it's down to you now. You are flying solo." There are lots of pictures in there, and of course I would say this but it's well done and it's edited very well. I was really pleased when it first came out and it took nearly four years to write and there were 2000 copies worldwide. It's a fun book. It's sent in a special box and you get a special photograph and little card and if you want it signed to you we can do that too.

RS: I'll look forward to picking up a copy soon. Jeremy, thank you for talking to TheForce.Net.

Review: Sideshow Collectibles Boba Fett Mythos Statue

The Boba Fett "mythos" statue is the most recent in the line of licensed Star Wars statues from Sideshow Collectibles.

As a recent convert to the world of Sideshow, when I first saw the Boba Fett statue I knew it was going to be a "must own."

First off, after some attempts to photograph the statue myself, I decided that my own photography really doesn't do the statue justice so I've included a few shots of my own alongside some images from Sideshow, so be sure to head over to www.sideshowtoy.com to view the statue in its full, imposing majesty.

Secondly, this piece is huge!

Standing over 25" tall when holding the rifle - the piece itself stands on a two tier base - a plinth - weathered to match the iconic Mandalorian armor and then a rocky outcrop from upon which the hunter observes his prey.

Unpacking and putting together the statue is a fairly simple effort with the statue coming in sections and magnetized for a robust, secure fit. 11 parts in total - 10 of which make up the overall piece.

Enclosed with the package is an envelope offering concept art and a certificate of authenticity, again featuring art and a backstory to the setting of the statue, Bounty 239.

As far as "optional extras," Boba comes with a fairly simple range of weapons, essentially affording you two options for display, with the huge "clone trooper" rifle capable of being swapped out for the classic short blaster.

The statue itself offers fans the classic Fett look with some added extras.

One of the key elements of the early character design, as Joe Johnston suggests, was a poncho/cape taken straight from Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name and legend has it that the cape was dispensed with as it became difficult to deal with on set. The Boba Fett Mythos statue takes the poncho as we know it and adds an "under coat" (I'm trying to think of a better name for it) that sits under Fett's chest carapace and extends down to "just above knee level". I really like this simple addition to the piece - it certainly doesn't detract from the character but instead adds to the "western" influence on Boba Fett.

The overall sculpt on this piece is quite amazing, seamlessly blending the multilayered, multi-textured costume as cloth flows over and under armor plating, tattered and dusty - as befits the storyline of "Bounty 239" taking place on an undisclosed world, perhaps Geonosis or even Tatooine.

Fett comes with a few "character enhancing" extras, for example a clutch of lightsabers hanging from his belt hint at bounties past, while the familiar Wookiee braids, iconic venom vine logo and wrist mounted grappling hook and flame thrower all make an appearance.

A heavy machine gun, looking suspiciously like a real world M60, is slung over Boba Fett's shoulder. At first I wasn't so keen on the rifle drawing upon such a real world influence - it all seemed a little too familiar and takes you out of the Star Wars universe. But, when I considered it, several of the weapons in Star Wars were based on clearly identifiable "real world" firearms, from the Stormtrooper blaster to Han Solo's pistol.

In all, this piece requires very little review other than to say that it has to be seen to be believed. There are many, many statues out there and you never really know, until you open the box, the quality of the item that you may have spent some considerable money on.

When it comes to Sideshow Collectibles there is no doubt about the quality of the piece that you are investing in and the Mythos Boba Fett stands as a hallmark and testimony to that quality. Whether a Star Wars fan, a Fett fan or simply a fan of some fantastic, genre memorabilia, the Mythos statue doesn't disappoint.

You can buy Jeremy Bulloch's autobiography "Flying Solo" exclusively from Jeremy's own website, here.

Joe Johnston's website "Joe Johnston's Sketchbook" is on Facebook.

You can buy the Sideshow Collectibles Boba Fett Mythos Statue here.

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